Nanyang Style

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Scope note
‘Nanyang’ literally means ‘the seas south of China’ and refers to Southeast Asia as a whole. ‘Nanyang Style’ refers to paintings by a group of diasporic Chinese artists working in British Malaya (present-day Singapore and Malaysia) around the period of the 1930s to 1950s. It was attributed to the conscious efforts of these artists in search of an artistic and cultural identity defined in relation to the Chinese conception of the South Seas region. The key proponents of this style were associated with the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts either as teachers or associates of teachers. Embodying an experimental and syncretic approach to pictorial representation, the works depicted local subject matter in a variety of styles from realism to post-impressionism.
Nanyang Style
Accepted term: 17-Jun-2024